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legal eagle
legal eagle, Attorney
Category: German Law
Satisfied Customers: 16845
Experience:  20 years of experience in all kinds of law, especially employment law and family law.
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A question about (what I think is) unlawful appropriation of

Customer Question

A question about (what I think is) unlawful appropriation of premium content in an online game.
Situation:
The game: Forge of Empires. Run by Innogames GmbH in Hamburg.
The situation: This "City-managing"-game has so-called "premium currency", purchased with real money, called "Diamonds". This premium currency is to be used for features, not available to free players. So far, so good. Common practise.
However: One of those premium features is the abillity to bypass the production-time of military units and buildings at the expense of a small amount of Diamonds. When production of such a unit or building is started a small pop-up appears, covering most of the building next to it, that offers the described function. When clicked on it, the required amount of "Diamonds" is substracted from the players total WITHOUT THE OPTION TO CANCEL. Note that it covers a good deal of the building next to it (usually the next in line to be addressed in administering this "city" and the chance of accidental clicks, and hence unintentional spending of this premium currency(which represents real money) skyrocket.
The company is benefitting from this tremendously.
To me this sounds like a deliberate money-trap.
Appeals to the company, both through the Forums and through in-game support yielded no result.
My question is:
What would be the legal status of this practise and where would I have to file complaints/charges should I have legal cause?
Best regards,
Nels van Toor
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: German Law
Expert:  Fran-mod replied 4 years ago.
Hi, I'm a moderator for this topic. I've been working hard to find a professional to assist you right away, but sometimes finding the right professional can take a little longer than expected.
I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you. Thank you!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I'll wait. I want that answer anyway.

=)

Best regards,

Nels van Toor

Expert:  Fran-mod replied 4 years ago.
Hello Nels,
Thank you for your patience. We will continue the search for a Professional for you.
Expert:  legal eagle replied 4 years ago.
Dear Customer,
thank you for using Just Answer.
If there is real money involved this sounds just like a game of chance which is unlawful here in Germany
What you can do is go to the police and press charges
They have the obligation to do some research to find out whether it is legal or not
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

That's not even remotely an answer.

I'm pretty sure this is not a "game of chance"; It's like you walk into a store with items on display and upon even merely touching on of these items the cashier pulls your wallet from your pocket end deducting the amount, listed on the item, claiming you bought it.

Maybe you should hand this to someone with expertise in internet- and economic law.

Expert:  legal eagle replied 4 years ago.
Dear Customer,
yes I ll opt out
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

And now?

Do I wait for an answer by one of your coleagues or should I consider the 21Euro I spent on this as "lost"?

Expert:  legal eagle replied 4 years ago.
You wait for an answer and if you do not get one you get your money back
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ah.

OK.

Thanks for the reply.

Expert:  Wendy-Mod replied 4 years ago.

Hi, I am a moderator for this topic. It seems the Professional has left this conversation. This happens occasionally, and it's usually because the professional thinks that someone else might be a better match for your question. I've been working hard to find a new Professional to assist you right away, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.


I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you!

Wendy

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I'll wait for another day. If none has picked it up by then I'd like to have it cancelled.

Expert:  Wendy-Mod replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your patience. We will continue the search for a Professional for you.

Regards,

Wendy
Expert:  Wendy-Mod replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your patience, your business is very important to us, we are waiting on the Professional with the right expertise to come online. Feel free to let us know if you would like us to continue searching for a Professional or if you would like us to close your question.

We appreciate your understanding!

Wendy
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

It's getting a tad long in the tooth, so better end it.

Looks like I'll have to find my answer elsewhere.